Like the title says, Why Darwin Matters. In the book, Shermer attempts to define and erradicate the ID movement in a simple breakdown on its parts. To his credit, Shermer speaks to the political, religious and non-science structure of the movement. He claims, and with considerable support, that ID is basically another form of creationism that is trying to push its way into the classrom through non-conventional and often offensive ways. The IDers use legislation along with other political actions to include this pseudo-scientific theory in textbooks, all the while Shermer responds with speaking to the facts of evolution.
I have to admit, Shermer is an extraordinary writer. His account of all the different parts of the ID movement must have took extensive research and study to accumulate such an extensive analysis. Shermer sites specific instances where IDers have even admitted that they are practicing Christians and the designer they speak of is God. This is an important implication for the movement since, as Shermer notes, if ID is really not creationism then why say such a thing? Obviously, there is more to the ID movement than first glance would reveal. But even outside of points like this, Shermer writes in a simple and effective manner which reveals that he knows what he’s doing. His authorship skills, to say the least, are unmatched in many scientific books. I’ve never read anyone who takes the time to make sentences flow so nicely and contain meaningful content. This has to be one of the main highlights of the book besides its research content. Shermer is a novel of a writer and it makes it that much easier to grasp his thesis.
Needless to say, the book was great. It promotes the theory of evolution and clarified it such a degree that you begin to feel like if you deny evolution then you are a fool by the end of the book. His vivid accounts of research and data supporting evolution are conveyed well and make sense to even the lay reader. There is some specific terminology nonetheless, but it isn’t enough to really make it confusing and incoherent to the average reader. Overall, the book is fantastic and would highly recommend.